Did You Know?


Photoshop Lesson 1 - Welcome To Photoshop

Whether you are a graphic designer or a digital imaging hobbyist, Photoshop has just the right range of tools to accomplish just about anything you would like to do with digital images. In this lesson you will learn about the Photoshop work environment, where to find most tools and basic photoshop file types.

Before we begin, take a moment to get yourself organized. Go to your documents folder and create a new folder called Photoshop. Inside of that folder create a subfolder called firstnamelastname-psassign1.


The Photoshop Work Environment

1. Launch Photoshop from your applications folder

2. Choose File > New

This will bring up the new document dialog box. Set the options as seen below the choose OK.


Note: You are setting your file dimensions in pixels. Pixels are the standard unit of measurement for screen-based documents. We will learn more about pixels later in the lesson.


  1. Menu Bar
  2. Tool Options Bar - Each time you select a new tool to work with, these options will change based on the tool selected.
  3. Toolbox - Click and hold buttons to reveal hidden tools (only on buttons with an arrow on the bottom right corner).
  4. Pallete Well - This is where your working palettes appear.
  5. Canvas - This is where the magic happens. Anything showing on the canvas will be part of your final product.

Working With Pallettes

Your pallettes can be displayed, hidden, moved, opened and closed.

1. The double-arrow button we on each palette group with expand/collapse the panel group.

2. If you don't see a panel that you want to work with, simply choose Window from the menu bar and select the one you would like to have appear in your well.

3. To show/hide all pallettes use the Tab key on your keyboard.

3. Close the document but do not save.

4. Right-Click and save the file below to your Lesson 1 folder.


5. In Photoshop choose File > Open and open the PSLesson1-sample.jpg file.

Note: Photoshop can open a wide variety of photo file types. The most popular forms that you will see are .jpg, .gif, .bmp, and .png. We will learn more about image formats later. For now, just keep in mind that Photoshop can open them all.

6. Choose the Zoom Tool fgfrom the toolbox

7. Click on the trees in the picture until you magnify the photo to the point where it will not zoom in anymore.


All About Pixels


Remember ealier we talked about pixels? Well here is proof that every image is nothing more than a grid of tiny boxes. Each box gets one piece of colour information and when we put them all together, we fool the eye into seeing the big picture. Simply, put, the more pixels in an image, the better our eye is fooled (sharper image because our eye can't see the boxes).

There is a danger in having too many pixels, however, as each pixel added contains more digital information which means larger file sizes. High resolution pictures are not easily transfered by email or on the Internet, but are great for printing.

8. Hold the Option (alt) key while clicking with the zoom tool and the photo will zoom out.

9. Using the zoom tool click and drag over the trees in the center of the picture and release.

You will notice that Photoshop will take your selection and fill the current window with only that selection. This is a quick way to zoom in on a particular part of a picture.

hj er


10. Double-Click on the Zoom Tool er in the toolbox.

This restores the image to 100% of it's original size. Remember that you are not acutally resizing the image right now. You are only magnifying it for the purpose of working with the photo.


Making Selections

11. Click and Hold on the Rectangular Marquee Tool gh in the toolbox.

When you click and hold, you reveal other related tools. In this case we want to use the Rectangular Marquee Tool so choose it.


You may have noticed that there is a photo stamp at the top of the photo in the top right-hand corner. We will now remove this by Cropping the photo.

Cropping A Photo

Cropping is the process by which you select a portion of an image that you wish to keep and the rest of it is discarded.

12. Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, Click and Drag across the photo to make the selection seen below:


Note: If you mess up and you need to make the selection again, simply go to the menu bar and choose Select > Deselect or CMD + D to get rid of the current selection. Then you can try the selection again.

13. Choose Image > Crop from the menu bar

The piece of your image that was not selected has now been discarded. Although this isn't quite what we wanted to do, is it? Remember, cropping is getting rid of what is not selected. Not to worry, we can undo this easily.


Undoing and History

Many time in Photoshop, you do things that you need to undo. For this reason, we have Undo, Step Backward, Step Forward and the History Palette.

The first three commands are available under the Edit Menu.

kl Undo will only undo the most recent action

Step Backward will move back one step at a time through all of the steps you've taken

Step Forward is grayed out right now because you have to step backward before stepping forward is possible.

You will also notice that there are short-cut keys available. Option + CMD +Z Steps Backward, Shift + CMD + Z Steps forward. If you don't want to remember shortcut keys, or if you want to undo multiple steps, the history palette is the way to go.

14. Choose Window > History from the menu bar

This will bring up the history palette.

hj The history panel offers a play-by-play of each action you've done since you've started working with the file. The number of steps are limited, but at times, this feature can be your best friend. To go back to a particular step, simply choose the step from the list and your document will restore to that point.

Warning! - If you restore to a point and then complete a new action, everything after your restore point will disappear from the list. Think of it as going back in time and taking your life in a different direction.

15. Choose Rectangular Marquee step in the History Palette.

16. Type CMD + D to get rid of the current selection

17. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to make the selection seen below:


18. Choose Image > Crop

Your image should now appear as we originally intended it to.

Saving In Photoshop

Saving in Photoshop is different than in most programs because there are many file formats to choose from. To get a better idea of this we will look at the save option.

19. Choose File > Save As...

This will bring up the save dialog box. If you do not see all of the options, choose the er button to see everything.


Because we have not added anything new to this picture (we only took a piece away) the default option is to save as a JPEG.

20. Choose Cancel

21. Choose the Horizontal Text Tool jk from the toolbox.

Before you click anywhere on the canvas to type, make sure you adjust the text options in the options bar as seen below:


22. Click on the canvas and type "Nature Awaits"

23. Click the Accept Button ui to accept the text changes.

Hint: If your text isn't positioned just right, you can use the Move Tool sd to click and drag it into place.

Your image should now appear as seen below:


24. Choose File > Save As...

You will notice now that by default the file type has been set to Photoshop (.psd).

25. Rename the file firstnamelastname-psassign1a.psd


26. Make sure you are saving to your firstnamelastname-psassign1folder


27. Make sure the Format drop down says Photoshop


28. Choose Save.


.jpg vs. .psd What's the difference?

The difference is actually quite important.

Jpeg files are flattened images that can be added to, but other features are no longer editable.

PSD files are still editable. This means you could open your .psd file again and change the colour, size, and position of the text.

Think of it this way...

PSD is like a work in progress

JPEG is like a finished file that is ready for display

Even though you save the file during this lesson, do not hand anything in just yet. Instead, go to Photoshop Assignment 1.